Mirror Mirror - 2021


Feel the Magic of the Crowd

By Jennifer Allen

“There is no such thing as an 'independent artist'. All artists are essentially co-dependent of the audience." ~ Natasha Tsakos

A friend of mine recently commented about his absolute joy to “…feel the magic of being with a crowd. There is nothing like it. Particularly after so long without it." He was finally able to experience a piano concerto performance with orchestral accompaniment and reveled in something as simple as a standing ovation from the audience at the very end.

His observation offered me a bit of pause… since we're still technically in the midst of a pandemic. Depending on where you are in the world, there may still be limits in place that prohibit certain public events. I completely understand why these measures are there, but by the same token we as human beings require communal interaction in order to survive… both physically and mentally.

In this age with its grand technology to connect us all around the world in an instant, at least we haven't become completely isolated from one another. Live communication through the internet, especially on mobile devices, has been essential in maintaining sanity (at least somewhat) during these trying times. Something as simple as seeing a genuine smile or hearing someone's laughter can mean so much more than people think.

Personally, I tend to go through spurts where I prefer solitude some days and to be sociable on others. In that way I am able to maintain a sense of psychological balance so that I'm not severely overloaded by either a loss of stimuli or too much of it. How or when each mode will strike me entirely depends on various other circumstances that I may be coping with at the time.

In the past few months, I've been attempting as much as possible to gravitate back to a more normal state of socialness. Well… at least as far as my personal hobbies are concerned. After visiting two pop-culture conventions, a stage musical, a digital art exhibit, two Renaissance fairs, and four movies at the theatre, I can safely admit that being out and about is certainly not a problem for me. Ironically, my same friend mentioned above has teased me about my eagerness to do all these things in such a short amount of time.

What can I say? I adore culture in all its forms and may be a tad greedy to explore and experience it all. On top of that, I'll always relish in the willingness to discover new things and share that knowledge along the way.

My recent adventures have birthed some rather intriguing results. Some of these were very small, like realizing my hair is finally long enough to have it properly braided. Others have been more grandiose such as conversing with some celebrities I've been a fan of for years. Each encounter was greatly elevated due to their personal nature. That is to say… each would have felt distinctly different if done through a digital screen.

When you're surrounded by like-minded individuals in person, there's a specific… spark in the air. An ambiance that only something like that can properly produce. When you're an artist, those responses from the crowd have quite the impact on how the performance will continue. When you're a fellow audience member, a laugh, scream, or other encouragement can make all the difference as far as personal gratification.

As an example, there was an older comedy film that was re-released in the theater for one evening. As a fan of this film, I jumped at the chance to finally watch it in the cinema as before I was only able to see it on TV. Even though there were only 10 other people in the space with me, the occasional laughter that echoed behind me at various moments made the experience so much more fulfilling and worthwhile.

So… if you do have the capability to travel and/or go out for some form of entertainment, I encourage you to do so. Even if there are mask mandates in place, that shouldn't discourage you from exploring, socializing, and otherwise enjoying a few precious hours of festivities within a collective of compatible admirers.

There is, indeed, nothing else quite like it.

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Jennifer Allen works at Saathee and is also a Podcaster, Blogger, Photographer, Graphic Artist, Gamer, Martial Arts Practitioner, and all around Pop Culture Geek.